Leaving New Hampshire, we found ourselves roaming along the back roads heading eastward into Vermont. We ambled through rolling hills covered with brightly covered trees slowly passing through quiet pastoral villages and bucolic farmlands. There were many signs warning us to watch for moose but no matter how hard we looked, they eluded being spotted. We pulled into the Little River State Park just before dusk and parked up the rig under the rustling trees.
The following morning, We set out to drive a long loop up the Green Mountain Byway starting in Waterbury then passing through the ski center of Stowe into the northern area near Cambridge before dropping south along Lake Champlain into Burlington. The day started off bright and sunny as we walked down to the river and explored along the dam.
We were out of the park by eleven and not far down the road sat the original Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory. Their original store started in Burlington back in 1978 and this facility to make ice cream on a larger scale opened in 1985. Not one to let such an iconic landmark pass by, I pulled in and we waited in a socially distanced line to get up to the window and buy some amazingly tasty cones. The factory tour was closed so we sat outside and munched our ice cream sitting back against the B & J sign with the sun smiling on our upturned faces. We picked up a t-shirt then visited the graveyard of past flavors before getting back in the RV and heading north on highway 100.
Being a holiday weekend, there were quite a few other leaf peepers out taking advantage of the waning days of autumn. The trees turning color were slightly “past peak” but the colors were still awe inspiring and made it hard to focus on driving. We watched tourists pass by overhead in ski gondolas at Stowe as we wound through a narrow stretch of road with boulders on each side. We were supposed to arrive at a friend’s home in Brookfield by 3:00, but it was soon apparent that I had severely underestimated how long our excursion was going to take.
In time, we reached Lake Champlain and turned south towards Burlington. It was now a two lane highway and we were able to make better time. Lots of territory was left unexplored, but that just gives us reason to come back again next year. As we neared our destination, the roads became dirt and gravel. The final several miles got narrower and more out in the wild as we made our way up a tight path between tall bushes up to PJ’s good friend Colleen’s homestead in the hills.
The road to Colleen’s
She lives out in the woods on a huge chunk of land with tall trees, open fields and an escarpment overlooking the quiet farmland in the valley below. She took us on a tour and we got to meet some of her family. An awesome hideaway in the scenic Vermont countryside. The goats were lined up waiting for us to pet them and the dogs were playing at our feet.
Colleen cooked up a savory pot of Dahl that we ate over rice accompanied with naan bread and a cucumber dip. We talked into the evening and got to meet a few grandchildren before setting off in the dark to find a place to camp. We had intended to park up on her property, but the forecast called for heavy rain overnight and into tomorrow and we were a little worried about getting stuck with our big, heavy vehicle so we headed into a nearby hamlet with a small campground and sat out the rain on a nice gravel site. Tired from a full day of touring the Green Mountain State we drifted easily into sleep.